Sunday, June 22, 2014

Midas Touch of ANIIDCO!

Midas Touch of ANIIDCO!

A glowing tribute to Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Ltd (ANIIDCO), the business arm of A & N Admn on its 26th Foundation Day, which falls on 28 June 2014.

By Zubair Ahmed

On a Monday morning like today, I was waiting at Goal Ghar junction for an auto. Saw one coming from Haddo side, stopped it and asked the driver to take me to ANIIDCO. Without wasting time, he surged ahead and sped his auto and within a few seconds came to a screeching halt at Junglighat. Puzzled, I looked towards the driver. He smiled pointing his finger towards a shop on the left side of the road. Before I could say anything, he said, "Saab, ANIIDCO aa gaya, yahan beedh kam hai."

And that was general knowledge for me. In fact, I wanted to go to ANIIDCO 'corporate' office next to Raj Niwas, But, the auto driver, a very loyal brand ambassador of ANIIDCO knew very well where to take me. And that is ANIIDCO for majority of the Islanders.

Whatever the objective for which ANIIDCO was founded. "Developing and commercially exploiting the natural resources for the balanced and environment friendly development of the territory on sound business principles." One thing is for sure, it's one activity truly reflects its tagline -  Touching the Lives of People!

Nobody in the Islands touch your lives like ANIIDCO do. They even touch the lives of the un-contacted ones! From Diglipur to Campbell Bay, they touch everybody's life including the Jarawas, Great Andamanese, Onges and may be we aren't sure - the Sentinalese too!

Its Midas touch, and whoever had the prospect of being touched by ANIIDCO will vouch, how much their lives have changed. Not just the lives of individuals, it drastically changes the lives of the whole family.

ANIIDCO takes special care of the poor illiterate Islanders. They treat everyone with equal care. They know that the gullible Islanders wont be able to pronounce Champagne (Champaag-nee) and many other premium brands. The self-service liquor shops in a couple of places saves the poor people from embarrassment. They can just pick one without uttering a single word.

All the 13 liquor outlets ANIIDCO operates are very close to the main road making it very convenient for the Islanders to locate it easily and remain in touch always.

ANIIDCO knows its priorities quite well. There was huge demand for a petrol pump at Havelock since a decade, but ANIIDCO realized that more than petrol and diesel, the easiest way to touch the lives of people will be through a self-service liquor shop and they put it in their plan for 2012-13 and achieved the target in no time.

The A&N Admn has always helped ANIIDCO achieve its goals. With changing times, the revisions incorporated in the Excise Policy for the Islands reflect the commitment of the Administration in fulfilling the aspirations of all Islanders. In 2008-2009, the Excise Policy prohibited selling or supply of liquor to any Andamanese or Nicobarese or any other Scheduled Tribes.

How can the Excise Policy of 2010-2013 be same? There has to be some progress. Hence, it was changed into "the licensee will not sell or supply liquor to any 'Aboriginal' Scheduled Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Very conveniently Nicobarese were excluded as they are supposedly mainstreamed and they too need to experience the Midas touch. How can ANIIDCO be unfair to Nicobarese? Although, officially there are no outlets in Nicobar or Kamorta, but they can avail the facilities at the outlets in Port Blair.

The Administration is not bothered whether you get uninterrupted water supply, power supply, internet connection or even fuel. They don't have any provision to penalize anybody if they fail in delivering the above services. But, that is not the case with liquor. As it touches the lives of the majority, in the Excise Policy 2010-13, one can find the following clause:

"The Licensee (ANIIDCO in this case) in Form "C" shall keep three months stock in his warehouse of all the brands approved for sale in the Union Territory of A&N Islands so that uninterrupted supply to the retail vends/outlets can be maintained throughout the licensing year. In case, the licensee fails to maintain the required stock, penal action will be initiated as deemed fit by the Secretary (Excise), A&N Administration."

It would be unfair, if ANIIDCO is just judged by its IMFL division. But the link is very strong. It would make more sense if we have a look into many other trades and businesses they are into.

The total turnover of ANIIDCO in 2012-13 was Rs 207 crores and the profit before taxation was Rs 16.16 crore. Now it would be easy to analyze the whole business of ANIIDCO.

In 2012-13 they made an operating profit of Rs 62.86 lakhs from Steel sales. In POL Division, it made a profit of Rs 1.47 crores. In Tourism Division, it earned a profit of Rs 36.50 lakhs. In Milk Division, the books show a loss of Rs 13.59 Lakhs. In Air ticketing, ANIIDCO made a loss of Rs 1.45 Lakhs. In Credit and Finance Division, it made an operating profit of Rs 4.99 Crores.

And now lets have a look into the profits they earned by selling liquor. In 2012-13, they earned an operating profit of Rs. 12 Crores.  The total income through Liquor Sales was Rs 120.46 Crores and the Expenditure was Rs 108.46 Crores.

Out of operating profit of Rs 16 Crores, ANIIDCO's lion share of profit of Rs 12 Crores came from liquor sales!

Every year, liquor sales is picking up. In 2011, the profit was Rs 8.12 Crores. In 2012, it went up to Rs 11.23 Crores.

And, by touching the lives of people, ANIIDCO could also contribute Rs 54.89 Crores to the Exchequer through Sales Tax, Octroi, Excise Duty, Income Tax and License Fee. What an achievement!

Don't ask about the poor performance of milk division and air ticketing division. If you raise the issue, both divisions might face the same fate as Vegetable and Fruit Division. Better leave it there or they will act like real "corporate."

Whenever ANIIDCO touched the lives of the Islanders, many other agencies were also activated to do their bit. In fact the amount spend from LG Relief Fund, and the expenses borne by GB Pant Hospital and many others on treating those touched by ANIIDCO need not be calculated.

Who cares why the suicide rates, road accidents, domestic violence and broken families have increased in the Islands, when the bottom line is quite encouraging.

More than financial benefit, ANIIDCO needs to be recognized by United Nations for their yeomen service in keeping the population growth in check. And also reducing the lifespan of the Islanders and helping many more to get government employment.

Moreover, they are not sitting idle basking in the glow light of fame. ANIIDCO has proposed to create a fund of 3% for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. The amount of Rs 30.55 Lakhs will be used to promote the sports of sailing. Indeed, the need of the hour!

ANIIDCO, in fact had many projects in its kitty - Undersea Cable Project, Tourism Projects, Shipping etcetera.. etcetera.. But, honchos in the Administration felt that these projects wont be in line with their motto of touching the lives of people. Hence, they are asked to do the one best thing they are capable of doing - Sell Liquor!

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